Corporate governance and social housing – Adopting a market model?

Fred Hutchinson, Carolyn Ward

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    Abstract

    The provision of rented accommodation by the public sector and not for profit organisations (Housing Associations now generically termed RSL’s – Registered Social Landlords) has undergone radical reform that is still continuing after almost 20 years, resulting in renewed interest in its future (Pawson and Mullins,2010). One apparent outcome of these changes was the creation of new social housing providers. The turn of this century saw the creation of Large Scale Voluntary Transfers (LSVT) and Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMO’s), where in such instances all ‘interested’ parties were encouraged to move away from their current tenure – that of the local authority. In the case of LSVT’s Local authority staff and properties were ‘transferred’ out of the direct management and control of the local authority, thus radically altering the funding, financial and management arrangements of this service. This paper will therefore explore the potential for further research of corporate governance in RSL’s, which up until now has largely remained unexplored. In particular we aim to identify the key influences on corporate governance and how this translates to the strategic board function and as a result what this might require in terms of board membership, experience, competencies and expertise. In summary the last 20 years of change have created a sector which has increased organisational and structural complexity as well as recognition of operating in a highly complex environment (Ward et al,2010a); a newly created emphasis on self-financing and regulation following the abolishment of a new regulatory body, TSA (Tenant Services Authority). With these changes brings new challenges, one of which is the focus of this paper in terms of new governance arrangements.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-25
    JournalJournal of Finance and Management in Public Services
    Volume10
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2012

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